Whether it was due to theft, fraud, forgetfulness, or calamity, many of us have needed to replace our debit cards post-haste. For many JPMorgan Chase customers, that usually just meant popping by the neighborhood branch and getting a replacement in minutes. So why has the bank reportedly ditched this convenient and popular program?
About half of the Chase branches around the country have machines that can produce a new debit card for customers on the spot, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the bank began quietly phasing this program out since March, and is now no longer available at all.
Why is Chase doing this?
Sources in the know tell the WSJ that Chase’s branches started to see an uptick in fraud about two years ago: People would come in with fake identification that matched customer information, and request new debit cards.
Once they had these cards, they could withdraw cash at the ATM or purchase stuff all on the account holder’s dime.
To combat that issue, Chase tried requesting that customers show the exact same form of ID they used to open their account.
“We found the issue and fixed the process almost two years ago, virtually eliminating the issue,” a bank spokeswoman told the WSJ, adding that the fraud issues related to replacement cards were less than 1% of all consumer-related fraud at Chase.
She says the decision to nix the service is due to a few things: It was partly an effort to cut costs, and also reflects the fact that more customers are using mobile banking these days.
Chase will offer a temporary ATM card you can get at local branches, but it’s not something you can use to buy stuff at your local stores or online.
Instead, be prepared to wait if you lose your debit card or if it gets stolen — your card will have to be sent through the mail, and will take at least five business days to arrive.
Chase does offer a rush delivery that takes two to three days, but that speed could cost you an extra $5.
If you want to switch to a bank that offers instant replacement services, both TD Bank and PNC will replace your debit card at branch locations.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Consumerist.